Microsoft's Windows in the Car is set to take on Apple's CarPlay system and Google's Open Automotive Alliance, which was announced earlier this year.
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Microsoft is working on a Windows-based car integration system, which is said to be very similar to Apple’s CarPlay. At its recently held Build conference, the company showed off the CarPlay-like concept, which is currently dubbed as Windows in the Car.
The system works as a mirror for Windows UI, giving users access to apps such as Xbox Radio, Maps and Spotify on dash screens. It also has physical car settings such as defrost. Microsoft has tied up with Mirrorlink for its Windows in the Car. It’s notable Mirrorlink already works with several car makers such as Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda. Mirrorlink has similar tie ups for Nokia Sumbian phones and Sony Xperia Z. Windows in the Car encourages developers to come up with car-specific apps, which we may see in the next version of Windows.
Microsoft didn’t reveal any release date for the concept, but we expect it to be available in a year or so. Apple’s CarPlay is scheduled to release later this year.
Microsoft is apparently targeting the major shift in the global auto industry, which is more focussed on making smart and connected cars. Tech giants such as Apple and Google have already sensed the potential in this segment. Google earlier this year announced working on an Open Automative Alliance. "We're also developing new Android platform features that will enable the car itself to become a connected Android device,” says Google on its Alliance website.